Student Project Raises Awareness on Domestic Violence

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Guest post by: Catherine Gaisor, Communications Specialist, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services

Supporting the community went beyond making a financial contribution when Mercedes-Benz Financial Services (MBFS) partnered with the College for Creative Studies (CCS) Graphic Design program to sponsor a social media campaign to help spread awareness of HAVEN. As Oakland County’s only comprehensive program for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, HAVEN provides shelter, counseling, advocacy and educational programming to nearly 30,000 people each year.

The semester long project challenged students with creating a campaign that would appeal to millennials through education and action. Remember the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that went viral and raised millions of dollars? Well, a similar end-goal was established for the HAVEN project, to help increase donations and awareness of domestic violence.

The students were split into two teams and worked to design and produce separate campaigns.

“It was so refreshing to see the student’s interest in the topic and we appreciated that each individual embraced our mission,” said Rachel Decker, Director of Development for HAVEN. “We are so proud to have such inspiring campaigns for HAVEN.”

One project, “Build a HAVEN,” focused on creating a safe atmosphere. Even the typography tells a story, with each letter fitting into one another. The second team’s project, “All or Zero,” focused on a call to action by explaining it takes everybody to make a difference.

The “Build a HAVEN” campaign officially launches this month with the second campaign to follow later in the year.

“This project benefits more than us. The message is so much bigger than just a class assignment,” said CCS student Samantha Griffith. “We even realized certain situations in our own lives that have been affected by domestic violence and we were instilled with a new sensitivity to the issue.”

Both campaigns include a video, social media posts and an opportunity to donate to HAVEN. Using specific hashtags will allow the posts to be shared on various online platforms.

“I’m so proud of all the students in the class. Instead of working in separate teams, they decided to work collectively and each delivered strong campaigns,” said Susan Laporte, CCS Graphic Design Associate Professor. “In all my years teaching at CCS, this is one of the best team projects I have had the honor in facilitating.”

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